e-Prot targets high scientific and technological gains on emerging protein-based bioelectronic technologies,
addressing the needs of the EU for novel sustainable technologies.
e-Prot project vision encompasses the rational design of efficient conductive protein systems (e-Ps), and the fabrication of all-protein based conductive structures and materials, targeting a radical change in design of green electronic and energy storage devices.
This breakthrough relies on a multidisciplinary scientific approach that includes a profound understanding of protein building blocks; biomolecular design principles and state-of-the-art synthetic biology, and chemical tools, to systematically fabricate new protein materials.
At the same time cutting-edge characterization techniques and computational models will provide an unprecedented fundamental understanding of protein conduction thus building a solid foundation for their technological implementation.
e-Prot proposes the first proof of concept of the envisioned technology in two key applications, printed flexible electronics and supercapacitors, which require optimized electronic and ionic conductivity, respectively.
Specifically, e-Prot will focus on the optimization, through protein engineering, of a robust protein scaffold, the modular consensus tetratricopeptide repeat (CTPR), a short 34-residue helix-turn-helix motif that forms helical arrays of 3-20 repeats. This robust protein scaffold will remain intact aiming at improving their conductivity, while allowing the control of the stability and properties of the final materials.
These all-protein based printable circuits and energy storage units represent disruptive technological platforms to enable integrated devices for complex bioelectronic designs based on a single, versatile, and inherently biocompatible material. Furthermore, the selected applications, and specifically their final integration into wearable bioelectronics, represent fields in which the development of naturally compatible and sustainable materials addresses an imminent future need for bioelectronic wearable devices.